Back to the chassis work…
Starting from the back, the brake shoes for the rear wheel were down to about 1.6mm, which is to be expected for a 15k miles bike. New shoes (4mm) were tracked down from David Silver Spares in the UK. He has a warehouse in PA, so parts can be ordered here in the US and shipped inexpensively from the East Coast. The brake drums needed to be scrubbed as a thin layer of rust had coated the braking surfaces over the past 17 years. A new rear sprocket was purchased from Nick at Ohio Cycle, who had the 29t 525 pitch sprockets re-manufactured. David Silver Spares also came up with correct early-style rear wheel dampers. First generation dampers have little hooks to secure them to the hub, whereas the later ones had pull-through nipples which inserted into holes drilled in the hub center.
The shocks were dismantled and NOS chrome lower covers installed ($95 each). Pitted, rusty shock covers really stand out on a Dream, so the decision was made to go bucks-up and replace them. I wound up with four extra lower covers from other spare shocks, which have been sent to the chrome-platers for revival. The tail light mount was cleaned of excess powdercoating to ensure proper grounding for the tail light assembly. The tail light mount on this bike was welded to the rear fender at the factory.
The bike came with a tire pump, but the pump was missing. The brackets and lock were still present, but there was no key for the pump lock. I tracked down some key blanks, which work on some of the tire pump locks, but this one was number 311 and the blank didn’t fit easily. A local key shop ground down the bottom edge of the key enough to allow the blank to fit into the lock assembly. Without even being cut to the lock code, the blank will release the lock from the bracket.
The ignition switch had an odd blank hand-cut to fit the lockset when the bike was received. The lock code was easily detected and a NOS OEM pre-cut key was purchased from an eBay seller. The key and lock were matching numbers, but the key wouldn’t fit all the way into the lock! Some spray lubes were shot into the lock to help loosen things up, but the key continued to resist full insertion. I couldn’t quite see where the conflict was on the key, so I tapped the key deeper into the lock with a hammer and slowly it went deeper into the lock. Finally, it went in deep enough to engage the tumblers and the lock worked in all positions. The key still was hanging up when it was removed and reinserted, but it was working after a fashion. I had a reliable eBay key supplier cut a T-series blank to the code and when it arrived, it fit in and worked perfectly. Holding the two keys side-by-side, it is difficult to see the difference between the two, but one works a lot better than the other one.
The handlebars looked similar to OEM Dream bars, but closer inspection revealed that they lacked the little alignment punch marks used on OEM bars and the wiring holes were round instead of oval shaped. A new starter switch/throttle housing came with the bike, but the throttle drum wouldn’t fit over the end of the rechromed handlebars! The end of the bars seemed to be a little out-of-round, so finally I put them in a vise and squeezed them a little at a time until the throttle drum slid over the end correctly.
The dimmer switch was the original part, so was cleaned and reinstalled. The lever brackets were installed ahead of the switches and the original, small-ball end levers were straightened back over a block of wood, using a plastic mallet. These early bikes used clamp-on CE71 mirror brackets and mirrors, so the lever brackets do not have mirror mounting holes. These brackets were also used on early CB92s and are difficult to source now.
David Silver Spares also came up with a NOS headlight rim and at first claimed to have a set of the special fork bolts which retain the upper shock mounts to the fork. Ultimately, they could not source them in Europe, so some $25 replacements were found and purchased. The bike had been assembled with standard bolts in place of the correct stove-bolt style fork bolts, which looked out of place in that location.
Stay tuned for Part 4... engine in the frame and fired up for the first time in over 16 years.